Simon Carr

The Independent's parliamentary sketch writer and columnist since 2000, Simon Carr was described by Tony Blair as "the most vicious sketch writer working in Britain today". "Poison," said Charles Clarke. In the 1980s he helped launch The Independent, and was a speech writer for the prime minister of New Zealand from 1992 to 1994. His working principle is "Indignation keeps us young."

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The Sketch: Electrifying growl shows the authentic voice of the Mail

On the last day of the "first module", we had the recall of Mail editor Paul Dacre to the Leveson Inquiry. We were all in suspense – right until victims' counsel finished his first question and the room reacted with one big "Huh?" What an example of forensic eloquence he made Ed Miliband look; eventually Mr Dacre was able to "refuse to answer" any more questions about the "mystery woman who didn't exist".

The Sketch: Not quite a clean bill of health, but Ed's stable

The important thing was the voice. It had lost the pleady, plaintive thing

The Sketch: How's an honest terrorist to know what's going on?

One after the other, MPs stood up goggling at their individual and collective helplessness

Simon Carr: Seeing him, it's hard to believe the reputation

Off his ground, out of his tank, Dacre looked nervous, defensive, even awed under examination

“It is interesting to note that the shyness and reticence that previously overcame the Hon Member for Shipley have now been successfully overcome.”

Point of order, Mr Speaker: Please stop speaking

Talking is part of his job description. But some people have begun to wish that John Bercow would occasionally shut up.

Simon Carr: Drowsy hum of an education bureaucrat

The Sketch

The Sketch: Meet silent executioner from the Cabinet Office

How long does it take to abolish 16 Agricultural Dwelling Houses Advisory Committees?

The Sketch: Another good day for Ed. Have the shackles come off?

He got away with it, on the whole, there was no animus on the backbenches against the Prime Minister; even David Davis left without asking a question. No Tory really blamed him for his EU-turn on the breakaway group's use of the common institutions like the European Court. The Lord only knows whether that really matters or not.

Simon Carr: All this talk of silos is getting us nowhere

Lord Turner talked of 'macroprudential systemic risk' but no one hurled rotten fruit at him

Simon Carr: No wonder Deputy Clegg hates inequality

The Sketch: As Dave was in Davos with the billionaires, Nick was struggling to make ends meet
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Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee